BAYLOR
20-14
71
TF 13
FINAL
End
2nd
TBS
Sat Mar. 23
7:10pm
BONUS
83
TF 12
GONZAG
32-3
ML: +983
GONZAG -14.5, O/U 148
ML: -1702
BAYLOR
GONZAG

No Text

Slammed: Clarke scores 36 in Gonzaga's 83-71 win over Baylor

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) Next stop on the Brandon Clarke Dunk `n Swat Festival: The Sweet 16.

The Gonzaga forward had five monster dunks, five blocks, matched a career-high with 36 points and enjoyed the overall kind of night that earns potential NBAers millions, while leading the top-seeded Bulldogs to an 83-71 rejection of Baylor on Saturday.

''Is `Wow' the word you say?'' teammate Josh Perkins said. ''Dunking the ball, blocking shots. He just plays the right way.''

Because of it, Gonzaga (32-3) is into the second weekend of the NCAA Tournament for the fifth straight time, the longest current streak in the country.

This second-round matchup in the West Region wasn't exactly a blowout, but wasn't quite a nail-biter, either. That doesn't mean it lacked entertainment.

Most of it centered on Clarke, the junior transfer from San Jose State, who started the fireworks with a windmill jam on a breakaway that gave Gonzaga an early 16-7 lead.

A few possessions later, Clarke took a bounce pass on the break from Perkins for a two-handed flush that had the Gonzaga kids in the Kennel going ga-ga .

Clark's final dunk of the first half came at the end of a 5-second clinic on how to deal with Baylor's floor-clogging 1-3-1 zone. Starting at the perimeter, all five Bulldogs touched the ball in the span of those 5 seconds; it ended with Killian Tillie's hook-flip to Clarke for a jam. It was as gorgeous a display of basketball as you'll see all year, and it put the Bulldogs ahead 35-16.

''That's players having great feel for the game and just playing,'' coach Mark Few said.

Ninth-seeded Baylor (20-14) scored the first 10 points of the second half to draw within six, and keep the game in range.

But Gonzaga held on, and when Clarke took a bounce pass from Perkins, who finished with six assists, it led to an easy bucket that put the Bulldogs up 13 with less than 4 minutes left.

Clarke also had eight rebounds and two steals. He lifted his season blocks total to 110 - now good for best in the nation. Baylor coach Scott Drew was even more impressed with another number that showed up on the stat sheet.

''He drew nine fouls,'' Drew said. ''There's a reason he's on the draft board.''

It was the defensive prowess that put him on many of those boards, though there's been a pretty large spread in opinion about exactly where he might land if he leaves after this season.

What he did on the offensive end in this game certainly won't hurt.

He went 15 for 18 from the floor, and most of the shots were of the high-percentage variety. Clarke is the team's two-time reigning dunk champion.

''If he'd made his free throws, he'd have had a 40-burger,'' Perkins said.

Or had a couple more dunks.

One missed chance came midway through the first half, when Geno Crandall saw Clarke get a sliver of daylight as he broke toward the rim. Crandall lobbed up an alley-oop pass. Only problem: It went in for a 3.

KISPERT'S EVENING

Few said it was Corey Kispert, not Clarke, who was Gonzaga's player of the game. Kispert made his first four shots and went 6 for 8 on the way to a 16-point night. He also got called for a technical for taunting with 8:06 left. The free throws and an ensuing three-point play helped the Bears draw within eight, but they never got closer.

FOUL TROUBLE

Baylor's Mark Vital played much bigger than the 6-5 he's listed at. He carved out space inside and finished with 17 points and eight rebounds, but was hampered by foul trouble. He picked up his fourth with 16 minutes remaining and fouled out in the final seconds.

NEXT UP

The Zags face fourth-seeded Florida State next Thursday in Anaheim, California. It's a rematch of their Sweet 16 game from last year, which the Seminoles won 75-60. Tillie missed that game with a hip injury

''They're a really good team,'' Kispert said. ''They're going to demand our best. But it's exactly what we wanted. We wouldn't want it any other way.''

---

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Key Players
M. Mason
10 G
J. Perkins
13 G
30.8 Min. Per Game 30.8
10.8 Pts. Per Game 10.8
6.4 Ast. Per Game 6.4
2.8 Reb. Per Game 2.8
39.8 Field Goal % 45.4
36.4 Three Point % 36.4
81.8 Free Throw % 80.5
  Defensive rebound by Corey Kispert 10.0
  Makai Mason missed layup 12.0
+ 1 Brandon Clarke made 2nd of 2 free throws 16.0
  Brandon Clarke missed 1st of 2 free throws 16.0
  Personal foul on Mark Vital 16.0
  Defensive rebound by Brandon Clarke 16.0
  Jared Butler missed 3-pt. jump shot 18.0
+ 1 Josh Perkins made 2nd of 2 free throws 23.0
  Josh Perkins missed 1st of 2 free throws 23.0
  Personal foul on Makai Mason 23.0
+ 2 Makai Mason made layup 24.0
Team Stats
Points 71 83
Field Goals 25-60 (41.7%) 31-57 (54.4%)
3-Pointers 4-21 (19.0%) 7-20 (35.0%)
Free Throws 17-22 (77.3%) 14-21 (66.7%)
Total Rebounds 27 39
Offensive 9 11
Defensive 15 24
Team 3 4
Assists 10 19
Steals 6 6
Blocks 3 7
Turnovers 9 11
Fouls 21 21
Technicals 0 1
17 PTS, 1 REB, 5 AST
36 PTS, 8 REB, 3 AST
12T
away team logo 9 Baylor 20-14 234871
home team logo 1 Gonzaga 32-3 394483
Team Stats
away team logo 9 Baylor 20-14 71.8 PPG 40.6 RPG 13.9 APG
home team logo 1 Gonzaga 32-3 87.6 PPG 41.8 RPG 18.1 APG
Key Players
11
M. Vital G 7.2 PPG 7.2 RPG 2.0 APG 46.4 FG%
15
B. Clarke F 16.9 PPG 8.6 RPG 1.9 APG 68.7 FG%
Top Scorers
M. Vital G 17 PTS 8 REB 0 AST
B. Clarke F 36 PTS 8 REB 3 AST
41.7 FG% 54.4
19.0 3PT FG% 35.0
77.3 FT% 66.7
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
M. Mason 17 1 5 5/16 2/7 5/5 2 36 0 0 0 0 1
M. Vital 17 8 0 7/9 0/0 3/4 5 29 2 0 0 5 3
K. McClure 15 7 1 5/9 1/3 4/5 3 36 1 1 2 2 5
J. Butler 11 3 1 4/13 1/8 2/4 3 32 1 0 2 0 3
M. Kegler 3 3 3 1/6 0/2 1/2 3 29 0 1 1 1 2
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
M. Mason 17 1 5 5/16 2/7 5/5 2 36 0 0 0 0 1
M. Vital 17 8 0 7/9 0/0 3/4 5 29 2 0 0 5 3
K. McClure 15 7 1 5/9 1/3 4/5 3 36 1 1 2 2 5
J. Butler 11 3 1 4/13 1/8 2/4 3 32 1 0 2 0 3
M. Kegler 3 3 3 1/6 0/2 1/2 3 29 0 1 1 1 2
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
F. Gillespie 4 1 0 2/4 0/0 0/0 2 19 1 0 1 1 0
D. Bandoo 4 1 0 1/3 0/1 2/2 1 13 1 0 2 0 1
M. Mayer 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 3 0 0 1 0 0
F. Thamba 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 1 3 0 1 0 0 0
O. Okeke - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Lindsey - - - - - - - - - - - - -
M. Teague - - - - - - - - - - - - -
D. Mitchell - - - - - - - - - - - - -
T. Clark - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Moffatt - - - - - - - - - - - - -
D. Allen - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 71 24 10 25/60 4/21 17/22 21 200 6 3 9 9 15
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
B. Clarke 36 8 3 15/18 0/0 6/8 3 36 2 5 1 4 4
C. Kispert 16 7 1 6/8 4/6 0/0 3 35 0 1 1 2 5
J. Perkins 11 1 6 3/8 1/5 4/8 2 36 1 0 2 0 1
Z. Norvell Jr. 9 7 5 3/9 1/6 2/2 3 38 0 0 2 3 4
R. Hachimura 6 5 0 2/6 0/0 2/3 3 23 0 0 3 2 3
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
B. Clarke 36 8 3 15/18 0/0 6/8 3 36 2 5 1 4 4
C. Kispert 16 7 1 6/8 4/6 0/0 3 35 0 1 1 2 5
J. Perkins 11 1 6 3/8 1/5 4/8 2 36 1 0 2 0 1
Z. Norvell Jr. 9 7 5 3/9 1/6 2/2 3 38 0 0 2 3 4
R. Hachimura 6 5 0 2/6 0/0 2/3 3 23 0 0 3 2 3
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
G. Crandall 3 1 2 1/2 1/2 0/0 2 11 2 0 2 0 1
K. Tillie 2 6 2 1/6 0/1 0/0 4 18 1 0 0 0 6
J. Jones 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 1 3 0 1 0 0 0
A. Martin - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Beach - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Ayayi - - - - - - - - - - - - -
G. Foster Jr. - - - - - - - - - - - - -
F. Petrusev - - - - - - - - - - - - -
M. Lang - - - - - - - - - - - - -
P. Pennington - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 83 35 19 31/57 7/20 14/21 21 200 6 7 11 11 24